The annual annual Army Emergency Relief (AER) campaign as well as the Kick-Off Rally promotes AER awareness and educates Soldiers, Retired Soldiers, and family members that AER should be their first choice during financial emergencies.nnWhy Donate? 90 cents of every dollar goes directly to Soldiers and their families! AER assistance would not be possible without the donations made by Soldiers and Retirees every year. Your donations will make a difference.
Do you know how AER was founded? 79 years ago, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson and U.S. Army Chief of Staff General George C. Marshall made plans for what would become Army Emergency Relief (AER), the U.S. Army’s own nonprofit emergency relief organization dedicated to helping the Army take care of its own. In 1942, less than one year into America’s involvement in World War II, Secretary Stimson and General Marshall understood that the best way of assuring a Soldier could focus on their mission abroad was to ensure their personal lives back home were taken care of.
To solicit donations from the American public and empower Soldiers to host fundraising campaigns within the military, Army Emergency Relief was established as a private, nonprofit organization. Governance and oversight of AER was the responsibility of a collective group of military service members and civilians.
In the summer of 1942, Irving Berlin’s This Is The Army premiered on Broadway. The show was produced by the U.S. Army and directed, choreographed, and cast with Soldiers. This Is The Army ran more than 100 times on Broadway before turning into a national tour that raised over $2 million for AER from 1942 to 1943. In addition to the proceeds from the musical, the show was adapted into a movie featuring a young Ronald Reagan and raised another $10 million for AER.
The early financial support provided by This Is The Army continues to support Soldiers to this day. For 79 years, AER has provided zero-interest loans and grants to Soldiers and their Families. Zero-interest loans, made possible by generations of donations going all the way back to Irving Berlin’s morale-boosting Broadway musical, are a never-ending cycle of Soldier support – a Legacy of Soldiers helping Soldiers.
Every year, AER conducts the Army Emergency Relief fund raising campaign from March 1 through May 15.
The annual AER Campaign Kick-Off Rally was held March 3 at 9 a.m. – watch the Rally here.
Put a little time aside and join us this year to kick off the campaign – we will have guest speakers present as well as some AER recipients who tell their story how AER saved their life.
Ways to Donate:
Please contact your unit Project officer for donations or stop by the Fort Benning AER office, located at Army Community Services, Building 7, Patch Hall.
Donations can be made year round at www.armyemergencyrelief.org/donate/. Donations can be made via online electronic payment or via allotment from your monthly pay.
If you have any questions, please contact the AER office at 706-545-3530 or 706-626-0214.